AR-15

  • AR-15,  Blog

    My First AR-15 (Part 2/3)

    When my future wife and I started collecting martial arms, we followed a predictable progression.   First a M1 Garand.   Then a M1 Carbine.  As finances allowed, and opportunity knocked, a M1911, a Krag, a Trapdoor, and so on.  We loved the history they represented, but we were shooters as well.  We shot in Grandpap’s cow pasture, but kept scores and tried to maintain correct fundamentals of rifle marksmanship as best as any self-taught people could in the era before the internet. I always was deeply interested in the Vietnam War, after all, that was the war Dad was in.  Owning a M16 seemed “a bridge too far”, simply too expensive. …

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    My AR-15 Journey: The 1994 Assault Weapon Ban & the Global War on Terror (Part 2/3)

    As I mentioned in Part 1, the Colt AR-15 SP1 rifle was by far more prevalent than the SP1 carbine.  But it seemed that as each year passed the carbine version was becoming more and more popular.   Initially the popularity of the Colt AR-15 SP1 rifle was driven by Vietnam War veterans and those of us who grew up watching that war on the six 0’clock news wanted to own a rifle like was used in Vietnam.  The same thing had happened after World War II and the Korean War with the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine, and later many veterans of the 1991 Gulf War wanted and AR-15A2. The…

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    My Latest AR-15 (Part 3/3)

    In earlier installments in this series, I told you about my first M1 Garand and first AR-15.  Now I would like to tell you about my newest AR-15. My first AR was an SP-1.  She was as close as I could get to the M16 my Father held at Tan An bunker number 4 during a V.C. rocket attack.  A sleek, elegant and handy rifle, she’s a beauty, a joy to shoot.  Her new sister is nothing like her.  She’s not fat, but she’s definitely thick.  With a heavy stainless free floated barrel, 1:8 twist, Wylde chamber, half minute sights, detachable carry handle, and insanely long stock.  She is, of…

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    My AR-15 Journey: The Effects of the Global War on Terror and End of the Assault Weapon Ban (Part 3/3)

    The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the expiration of the Assault Weapons Ban in September 2004 changed the civilian AR-15 as much as the military M16 was changed to the M4 by these wars.  The benefits of the military M4 were lighter, shorter and more adaptable than the rifle.  Returning veterans and civilians who watched the wars on the news wanted to own a civilian version of the M4 carbine.  The end to the Assault Weapons Ban made it possible.  The AR-15 market reacted to that demand and many companies were soon making an M4 carbine version for the fast growing civilian market. The 16.5” barrel of the civilian…

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  • AR-15,  Blog

    My First AR-15

    “Write the book you’d want to read!” That was the impetus for the original AR-15 Complete Owner’s Guide.  To be honest, right through the ‘90’s I was disinterested in the AR-15 rifle.  I very much preferred the Ruger Mini-14.  During much of that time, the AR-15 market consisted of either pricey Colts or affordable small, dare I say, “no-name,” manufacturers.  At least, that’s how I saw it.  Then, after a time, the “ABC” brands became the “name” manufacturers: Armalite, Bushmaster, and Colt.  The Armalite of that day was not the Armalite that had developed the AR-15.  The Armalite company had ceased to exist many years prior.  The owner of Eagle…

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    BOOK REVIEW: A Collectors Guide to the Colt AR-15 SP1 Sporter Rifle

    I have long been a fan of the Colt AR-15 SP1 Sporter Rifle.  When I bought my Colt SP1 in 1982 you had two choices in the purchase of the AR-15, a Colt SP1 Sporter rifle or a Colt SP1 Sporter Carbine.  That was it as there were no other makers.  I chose the rifle.  The price was $500.  I shot my SP1 a lot back in the day and used that rifle to compete in early IPSC 3-gun matches.  It remains one of my favorite rifles; it is accurate, light weight, and easy to shoot. One of my gun regrets is that I didn’t buy a Colt SP1 Sporter…

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